Geelong & the Bellarine touring route
Distance: 229 kilometres round trip from Melbourne
Duration: 1 day
Melbourne to Geelong – 73 kilometres
Start out from Melbourne south-west to Werribee, on Melbourne's outskirts. The Mansion at Werribee Park is a grand building built in the 1870s offering insights into the opulent life of the Chirnside family, who created the building as the centrepiece of their pastoral empire. Close by is the Open Range Zoo, where animals from the grasslands of Africa, Asia, North America and Australia, including elephants and rhinos, can be seen in an open environment.
Travel on to Geelong, Victoria's largest regional city, located on calm Corio Bay just inside Port Phillip Heads. The city has fabulous waterfront eateries, landscaped gardens and walking paths. Have a coffee at a waterfront restaurant and wander past the famous bollard characters along the foreshore, or visit the multi award-winning National Wool Museum.
Geelong to Queenscliff – 31 kilometres
The route continues to Queenscliff through wine country. Scotchmans Hill and Bellarine Estate both have excellent cellar doors, and Pettavel Winery incorporates a popular restaurant. You can also take a detour to Portarlington for a lunch at a great cafe or fresh mussels bought at the pier then barbecued on the shore.
Queenscliff is an historic bay-side town well known for its Victorian-era buildings, galleries and excellent restaurants. Learn about 19th-century military history at the historic Fort Queenscliff or stories of the early mariners and fishermen at the Maritime Museum. For the more adventurous, dive to discover coral, sponges and shipwrecks around the bay entrance, charter a boat and swim with dolphins or take a fishing cruise.
Queenscliff to Point Lonsdale – 5 kilometres
Continue your journey south to the village of Point Lonsdale overlooking The Rip – the notorious entrance to Port Phillip Bay. Take in the dramatic views from Rip View Lookout before heading onto Barwon Heads a little further along the coast.
Point Lonsdale to Barwon Heads – 20 kilometres
Barwon Heads and the surrounding area were chosen as the location for the hit television series SeaChange and its easy to see why. Have a coffee at the restaurant built along the jetty. At The Heads is housed in the old cool stores that featured as Diver Dan's shack in the television show. Then play a round of golf at one of Victoria's most scenic golf courses with outstanding ocean views, fish the calm estuary waters or just amble along kilometres of sandy beaches before making your trip back to Melbourne.